Pro Bowl Games: Skills Challenge Recap and Highlights

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Pro Bowl Games: Skills Challenge Recap and Highlights


On Thursday night, some of the NFL’s brightest stars were under one roof for the Pro Bowl Games Skills Challenge at the Raiders’ training facility in Henderson, Nevada.

Here’s a recap of how everyone fared and highlights from night one of the Pro Bowl Games!

Precision Passing

Descripton: Each of the conference’s three quarterbacks will battle it out in a one-minute accuracy competition, as they attempt to accumulate points by hitting as many targets as possible. The quarterback with the highest individual score among all participants is the winner and earns three points for his conference. There are a total of 10 targets that are either static or attached to robotic dummies and drones, each worth a different amount, ranging from one to five points. There is also a Long Toss Bucket 60 yards away that is worth 10 points.

Everyone laughed at Tyler Huntley being named a replacement at the Pro Bowl Games. The Raiders are done with Derek Carr. Huntley and Carr led the AFC to a victory with stellar performances in the precision passing portion of the Skills Challenge.

Huntley started slow but turned it on and racked up 21 points for the AFC. He came closer than anyone else to hitting the 10-point target, hitting the rim, and bouncing out.

Carr, familiar with the Raiders’ indoor facility where the contest was held inside, helped put the AFC over the top with a round-high 31-point performance.

The precision passing victory gave the AFC three points toward Sunday’s contests.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence complimented Carr’s performance after the event: “Derek put the team on his back!”

Derek Carr didn’t pass up the opportunity to take one last shot at the Raiders tonight. Well, maybe himself, honestly.

Lightning Round

Description: New this year, each conference will select 16 players to compete in a three-part elimination
challenge that will leave one player left at the end to earn three points for his conference. In the first event, “Lightning Round – Splash Catch,” teammate pairings from each conference will toss water balloons back and forth from increasing distances. Each tandem that completes all of their tosses advances to the second phase. In part two, “Lightning Round – High Stakes,” advancing players will attempt to catch punts from a JUGS machine to earn a place representing their conference in the final round of the competition. In the final part of the challenge, “Lightning Round – Thrill of the Spill,” the remaining players from each conference will aim at targets attached to a bucket hanging above the head of an opposing conference’s coach. The first team to dump the bucket on the opposing coach wins and earns three points for his conference.

Washington Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin has them hands!

In the high-stakes competition, the NFL pit lineman, linebackers, and pass rushers against each other in a round in which they had to catch punts from a JUGS machine. It was hilarious seeing players who don’t usually catch punts trying to do so.

The difficulty increased as it went on, with players having to hold multiple balls as they fielded the punt from the JUGS machine.

Bengals pass rusher Trey Hendrickson ended up outlasting the AFC side by catching five footballs at once!

The remaining players from each conference took turns aiming at targets attached to a bucket hanging above the heads of the coaches. Each team tried to win the competition by dumping the bucket on the opposing coach’s head.

The thrill of the spill reminded me of the slime-time games on Nickelodeon when I was a kid. It was pretty cool. However, they missed an opportunity to have actual slime instead of confetti in the buckets.

Trey Hendrickson won dumped the bucket on Eli Manning, winning the competition!

Hendrickson’s event-winning toss gave the AFC a 6-0 lead in the Pro Bowl Games.

Longest Drive

Description: Four players from each conference will compete in a challenge to drive a golf ball the furthest distance off a tee. Each player will get three swings and the player that drives the furthest within the boundaries on each side of the fairway will win three points for his conference.

Now, this is my kind of competition! If only they were slicing the ball onto the next fairway, I could have suited up for this one. Well, not really, because I wasn’t there for this one. The NFL pre-recorded this one, which seems pretty stupid.

I suppose it’s not a big deal for those watching from home, but I feel like the concept the NFL has this time around is fun. However, it would be better if they did it all live. The Raiders’ training facility is massive; they could have figured it out.

Za’Darius Smith really looks like me on the golf course!

The AFC won it, thanks to Bills safety Jordan Poyer who crushed a drive 320 yards! The AFC took a 9-0 lead through the contests.

Epic Dodgeball

Description: A multi-round tournament of classic dodgeball featuring four teams of five players that begins with the offenses and defenses from both conferences squaring off and culminates in an AFC vs. NFC showdown. In the first match, the AFC offense will face the AFC defense to determine the AFC winner. The second game, the NFC offense squares off with the NFC defense to determine the NFC winner. In the finales, the AFC winner and NFC winner meet to determine which conference will earn three points.

It’s dodgeball. It’s fun! That’s the point of the Pro Bowl. Fun!

Potential future Bear Saquon Barkley took an old school gym class face shot in the semi-finals of the Dodgeball Tournament!

The NFC won the even to make it 9-3 AFC heading into Sunday.

Sunday’s Events

Best Catch (Finale)

On Sunday, the top vote getters from each conference will compete head-to-head, as they perform in front of panel of celebrity judges. The pass-catcher who accumulates the highest score from the judges will be determined the winner.

Gridiron Gauntlet

A side-by-side relay race showcasing strength, speed and agility, six players from each conference will compete to see who finishes first and wins three points for his team. The four-part Gauntlet, each segment 40-yards in length, includes a series of breakaway walls, a section of climbing over walls and under tables, a tire run and a blocking sled carrying a Legend coach across the finish line.

Kick Tac Toe

Each team’s kicker, punter and long snapper compete in a giant Tic-Tac-Toe competition to showcase their respective skills. The first team to complete a connecting line of three squares or hit five squares total will be declared the winner and earn three points for his conference.

Move The Chains

Four teams (two teams from each conference) will compete side by side in a weighted wall pull that will showcase their strength, speed and ingenuity. Each team of five players is responsible for pulling a wall, loaded up with heavy weights, 10-yards as quickly as possible using first-down chains. The winner of the best-of-three playoff will earn three points for their conference.

But the skills competitions aren’t just for the sake of skills competitions, even though they sound awesome. The winning conference of each competition will earn three points towards their team’s score in the flag football games on Sunday evening with 24 total points being available to be awarded.

There will be a total of three flag football games with points from the first two games being added to the scores of each conference in the third and final game.

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.